|in their Christmas finery in front of our tree on Christmas Eve morning|
We headed out to my parents' house on Christmas Eve for my family's big Christmas together. My parents just moved into a new house, so this was our first Christmas at their new place--pretty exciting! The kids just love it there, and we had a wonderful holiday celebration with my family--the kids got totally spoiled, but that's nothing new when grandparents are involved. We got home around 10:30pm Christmas Eve night with three sleeping kiddos in the car--Abby most certainly wasn't feeling well as the day wore on...you could just see it in her eyes. Dan and I carried the kids to their beds and got busy, helping prepare the house for Santa's visit. I had to clean all the tracks and trains that I had bought from my sister's neighbor, and Dan got the job of setting all the tracks up on the new train table by the tree. Having never had a train table before, I had NO idea how long the whole set-up would take...and it took a long time. Dan was less than thrilled about the late-night work...around 2:30am, his project was complete and he went to bed. I still had some stocking stuffers to wrap, so I was up until 4am making sure everything was perfect and Santa wouldn't have too much to do when he dropped by. I thought I should check on Abby before I went to bed, so I slipped into her room with the thermometer and some Tylenol in case she was still running the fever. I kept her lights off, and had to step into the hallway to see the reading on the thermometer--and my heart about stopped when I saw that it read 105.3. What??? Is that even possible? I took it again and the thermometer read 104-something...so the 105 reading was probably accurate. I woke her up to give her Tylenol, and she answered me and seemed to be okay...other than that crazy fever. I went into our room and woke Dan up to tell him--he wanted to take her to the ER, but I googled high fevers in children and read that the fever isn't really what you should worry about if the child is acting okay, and she was acting fine when I gave her the medicine. I was irrationally exhausted--I didn't want to mess up our Christmas morning by having Abby at the ER and neither of us getting any sleep. Is that a reason not to take your sick kid to the ER? Probably not, but at 4:30am on Christmas Day, it's what I went with as I fell into an uneasy sleep.
Christmas morning at our own house was actually wonderful and exactly what I had hoped for--Abby woke me up (still with a fever, but acting excited and happy), and she and Jake played so nicely and patiently while we all waited upstairs for Alex to wake up (a slight kink in the plan to all come downstairs to the perfect Christmas spread = Alex's room is downstairs). When Alex woke up, I put a blanket over his head and ran him through the living room and up the stairs--he was not happy about that turn of events, cried hysterically, and wouldn't cooperate for any pictures at the top of the stairs. Oops. We finally ushered them all down the stairs to the awesome Christmas spread--Santa and Mommy and Daddy rocked it this year!
The kids had a great time opening their presents (although truthfully, they weren't all that interested once they saw the train table...we kept having to redirect them back to more presents!), and they played so well together with their new things. It was so relaxing and wonderful, and we got them all down for naps/quiet time before Dan's parents arrived for more festivities and dinner. Despite being ridiculously tired, I managed not to stress about the food (it helped that we picked up 2 rotisserie chickens, so I really didn't have to do much at all), and we had a nice evening together. We put Abby to bed early, because she still wasn't feeling well and we thought she could use the extra rest. Dan's parents were getting ready to head home right as I was putting Alex to bed, and somehow, Alex managed to headbutt me not once, but TWICE in the exact same spot on my lip when I was trying to put him down...I emerged from his room with a massive bloody swollen lip, and waved goodbye to Dan's parents with an ice pack and blood everywhere. What a weird end to a good Christmas Day.
I should have known things would go downhill from there... I had a lot of ideas for how I wanted to spend our family time--Dan off work and Abby off school--after Christmas. The new Children's Museum at National Harbor. The snow at the Gaylord National Hotel. The National Building Museum in DC. Maybe some mornings out to breakfast at Einstein Bagels. Just stuff that we don't usually get to do together with everyone's busy schedules. But the day after Christmas, I figured we would relax and let the kids enjoy their presents. My lip really hurt that next day and it looked like I had been in a brawl. Abby was still running that fever and eventually started complaining that her ear was hurting, so Dan took her to the emergency room the evening of the 26th. At 2am on the 27th, Jake was awake and screaming because he couldn't breathe...he had croup (an unfortunate Christmas gift from our neighbors, who unknowingly brought it to Dan's office Christmas party and passed it around like candy--Dan's boss' kids now also have croup...). Medicine for his fever, a sit in a steamy bathroom, and humidifier set up in his room, and eventually we all went back to sleep. Rounds of medicine for two kids all day on the 27th--antibiotics and Motrin/Tylenol for Abby, Motrin/Tylenol for Jake...and I'm starting to not feel so good. At 4am on the 28th, Jake is awake and screaming that his ear is hurting him...so off to the emergency room I go with him. Now I'm really not feeling good with the lack of sleep combined with whatever gunk I'm getting from all the kids. Rounds of medicine on the 28th, and my parents pick up Abby (who is finally perking up a bit) for my niece's birthday party--we were all supposed to go and have a fun day together, but that clearly wasn't happening. It's now the 31st, and we haven't left the house since the 24th (other than those pesky ER runs)--we're stuck in a quarantined, never-ending sickness hell that has hit all of us and made us miserable. I feel like my head is underwater, have a constant headache, and can hardly hear anything. Dan's throat hurts. Jake can't shake the fever despite meds all day along with the antibiotic for his ears, and he just coughs, coughs, coughs when he lays down. Alex just has a runny nose, cough, and fever at this point--Dan and I are taking bets about when we'll be in the ER next with him for an ear infection. My parents ended up taking Abby back to their house after that birthday party, which is probably just as well--she doesn't need to be around this house of sickness as she is finally feeling better. Our family fun vacation is quickly coming to an end with everyone back to work and school on Wednesday, and we have done nothing fun. We are a hot mess. And to top it all off, my house that was so magnificently, sparkling, wonderfully clean just a few days ago now needs another deep clean to get rid of these germs...once I get my head above water, that is.
Oh, and one other thing: Why is it that I can't get some sort of nasty stomach virus that will help me shed unwanted pounds instead of a monstrous head cold that doesn't infringe on my holiday cookie eating in the slightest??